PICKENS — The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail installed its 200th quilt panel on April 7 when it dedicated To the Mountains on the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce building located at 222 W. Main St. in Pickens.
The original quilt, a small landscape piece, was created by Joy duBois of Seneca, who met quilter Gail Sexton at the Upcountry Quilters Guild which meets at the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative in Pickens.
She took a class Sexton was teaching in a new landscaping technique. She enjoyed the class and the teacher so much that she went on meeting Sexton for weekly sessions where they quilted together.
When it came time to choose the quilt to adorn the Greater Chamber of Commerce building for the 200th block installment, this landscape quilt of mountains, rivers and a foreground of flowers and a tree was chosen from a group of landscape quilts by Kimberly Smagala, a life-long friend of duBois’ as well as the newest Chamber executive director.
“The chamber office is the first stop for many visitors who visit our city. It is our hope to highlight more quilts throughout the Main Street corridor and around town as a part of a walking/bike tour,” Smagala said. “Quilting is part of our rich heritage and we are surrounded by so many talented quilters locally, especially those from the Upcountry Quilters’ Guild. We look forward to not only seeing more renderings of these beautiful quilts throughout downtown Pickens, but also creating a destination spot similar to what Landrum and Westminster have accomplished.”
The quilt panel was funded through the Pickens County ATAX Commission. At the unveiling Smagala announced the new partnership formed between the two agencies to create the Pickens Heritage Quilt Trail, an expansion of the already successful UHQT in a concentrated effort in the Pickens Downtown area in hopes of creating a destination component on the tourism market.